Monday, September 20, 2021

Unrecognised!




Photos courtesy of Unsplash

On 12 January 2007, at 7:51 in the morning, a musician takes his position against a wall in the metro station of the Washington D.C. subway. He is wearing jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and a baseball cap. He opens his violin case … removes the instrument, throws a few dollars into the case from his pocket as “seed money”, and begins playing.

He plays for the next 43 minutes, and during that time, he performs six classical pieces – flawlessly!  During that 43 minutes, 1,097 people passed by, tossing in a total of $32.17 into his violin case. Of that 1,097 people, only seven paused longer than sixty seconds to listen to this performance.  Of those seven who lingered, only one recognized the violinist!

The name of the violinist was Joshua Bell. He had filled Boston’s Symphony Hall three days earlier, where the cheap tickets sold for $100 apiece. Yet, when performing this day in the subway, he barely earned enough to pay for a pair of cheap shoes.

Now you cannot fault the instrument - He was playing a Stradivarius worth 3.5 million dollars!

You can not fault the performance - He flawlessly played some of Johann Sebastian Bach’s best work! Yet scarcely anyone noticed the presence of such artistry in this context.

Most people who passed by cynically wrote off this entertainer as just another busker, but it was actually an experiment sponsored by the Washington Post newspaper. 

Little did they know that among them was a genius, and if they gave him some time, he would greatly enrich their lives!

An unrecognised presence.

In Luke chapter 24, we read of two people on the road to Emmaus who encountered the risen Jesus, but they did not recognise the greatness of the One who was walking with them.  As they walked, He enriched their lives as He talked with them so that later they could say to one another, “Did not our hearts burn within us as He talked with us and opened the scriptures?”

Sadly, so many people today are not aware that the same Risen Saviour is with each of us constantly, but they are unaware of His nearness, or they simply dismiss Him as not worth their time.  He is ready to give something of great worth to them if they will just give Him the opportunity.  He could say to those of His day, “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” 

However, those who recognise His worth and open their lives to His blessings find that He enriches their lives beyond measure – far more than even the most talented musician - and brings true reality in everything they do. Through His death, He has brought us eternal life, and by His resurrection brings hope into a hopeless world, but to so many, He is just an unrecognised presence.

Written by Stephen Treseder for Messages with Meaning (19/09/21) & Your542Day

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